DOD has unveiled or should that be unleashed the Chthonic Fuzz, a dark-sounding silicon fuzz pedal that is designed to get the most out of electric guitars with low-output pickups, but also to to pair nicely with the PAF-alike humbucker in your life.
The project started as all good projects do, with experimentation. The DOD R&D team started out with a single-knob fuzz from the ‘70s and took it from there. The final result is a circuit built around a pair of 2N2222 silicon transistors that respond nicely to your picking dynamics and guitar’s volume control.
The control complement expanded to three, with Fuzz controlling how much gain is in the circuit, Level controlling output, and Lustre serving as a passive, post-gain tone control. DOD advises players to position the Chthonic Fuzz at the start of their signal chain, and to set all controls set at noon before adjusting to taste.
One you’ve dialled in some fuzz, roll back the volume and it’ll give you some overdriven tones, and rolling it back some more and it’ll be clean.
On the face of it, all this talk of brightness, and how shorter cable runs yield better results, with the Chthonic Fuzz sensitive to the brightness of low-capacitance guitar cables, makes us think that this is the one fuzz you need in your life when your rig is a little too aggressive in the high-end.
Is this the pedal to turn your ice-pick into, well, an axe? Quite possibly. We could imagine this working nicely on a Strat’s bridge pickup.
DOD describes the character of the fuzz as “fat, corpulent, fudgy, sludgy”, hence the single-coils and clean amp recommendations.
The Chthonic Fuzz will work its dark magic with 9V from a battery or pedalboard power supply. Its Lovecraftian art makes it look something of a companion piece to DOD’s Carcosa Fuzz, a more contemporary take on the Maestro FZ-1S.
The revival of the DOD brand – a brand so well-loved in the US that it is often referred to as ‘America’s Pedals’ – is one of the biggest guitar effects pedal stories of the year. In May, DOD/DigiTech announced a newly assembled R&D team led by Jim Pinnock that had collectively amassed over 70 years of experience in guitar effects.
The promise was more pedals to come. Now, they might be making good on that promise with the DigiTech SDRUM returning to the lineup earlier this month, and now this.
The Chthonic Fuzz is available now, priced $149 street. See DOD/DigiTech for more details.